Profile Evaluation (GMAT Score Aspiration)

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Hello,

I would like to apply to a full-time MBA Program on 2017 and I´d like to know how much I should aspire to on my GMAT with the following profile. I will be applying this fall to some of the top 10 US Schools on the first application round.
Nationality: Venezuelan (Latin Minority)
Gender: Female (minority)
Age: 24
GPA: 3.1 (5th in my class) in Business Administration (mention in management) at Universidad Metropolitana (3rd University in Venezuela)
Work Experience: 4 months in a BTL company as account assistant (1 month) and then executive (3 months), this short experience I don´t know if I should include, 1 year of Commercial Trainee Program at Nestlé Venezuela, currently Commercial and Digital Communications Specialist (Total experience for the moment of application: 1 year and 9 months at Nestlé, for the moment of starting the MBA 2, 5 years at Nestlé, last year as Consumer Marketing Manager, this will probably not be by the time of the application)
Extracurricular Activities: 5 years in the university Model UN program (as delegate, secretary, head delegate and faculty advisor to years). 2 years in a foundation called Embajadores Comunitarios, as volunteer and as Program Coordinator (part of the executive committee), and 5 years as volunteer in a foundation called Un Día Juntos, Currently Vice-President of the Alumni Association of my university (Universidad Metropolitana) Also I was an English and math tutor for children (should I include it in my application?)
Miscellaneous: prize for academic excellence and student participation in my university.

What do you think of my profile, how much should I be aiming to on my GMAT Score?
What comments do you have for my questions?

Best Regards.

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by MargaretStrother » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:05 am
This is actually an easy question to answer. Regardless of your background, you should aspire to be at or above the GMAT median for the schools you apply to. That way, you won't have to waste space apologizing for low numbers, and you can focus your application materials on your strengths.

In your case, that 3.1 GPA is low for many top business schools, so having a strong GMAT is even more important -- it will show that you will be able to handle the rigorous coursework of a top MBA program. You do have good community experience and your region is considered "under-represented," but you also have somewhat less work experience than your competition.

To be honest, my best strategic advice would be to apply one year later than you are thinking of, and to spend that year increasing your professional profile, working on getting a competitive (700+) GMAT, and focusing on a couple of major community leadership roles to enhance your leadership profile. I realize you're ambitious and eager to move forward; however, I am speaking strictly strategically. You have a lot of potential for top schools, but you are just at the beginning of your career. So you might find yourself getting accepted by backup schools in 2017, but a year from now, you'd be a much stronger candidate for top-fives.

Hope this helps!
Margaret Strother
Margaret Strother
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Stacy Blackman Consulting

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by luisaelenaab » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:38 pm
Dear Margaret,

Your answer was very helpful, thank you very much!
Your recommendation of waiting one more year is probably very sound, however, the situation in Venezuela is getting very complicated and I would really love to leave before 2018. Nevertheless, my priority is getting into a top school, so if I don't make it, I would try for the following year (2018). Do you know how these universities react to reapplications if I don't get in for 2017?

Regards.

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by MargaretStrother » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:04 am
Most top MBA programs are highly receptive to reapplicants. HBS has a reputation for being less receptive, but other schools definitely encourage it, and some even help reapplicants assess the weaknesses in their application before they reapply. For many people, the entire MBA application process is a life-assessment that can lead to growth and change, regardless of the outcome; many schools are aware of this and encourage the transformative process.

In the meantime, you also might see if Nestle would consider transferring you to another country for a year, possibly somewhere in Europe. The international exposure would help your MBA candidacy in the long term, while giving you a break from life in Venezuela.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother
Margaret Strother
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Stacy Blackman Consulting

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